One should visit a gynecologist when she is suffering from women related issues like inability to conceive, menstrual problems, uterine fibroids, pelvic pain, bleeding, PCOD among others. It’s important to visit gynecologist once a year at least. In a woman’s life, menstruation changes periodically, depending on the health of the body and various stages, including pregnancy.

PCOD is an issue which affects women of all age groups. I have noticed patients getting distressed with skin problems like hair growth, acne and hair fall not realizing that these are only skin manifestations of internal disease. When the female hormones become abnormal due to excessive weight gain or lack of regular exercise such issues occur in the female body.

Another scenario is cancer. Cancer is a deadly affliction affecting the entire population across all age groups. In India, the incidence of cancer has been rising steadily and more so among women. Most women are not even aware that cancers of the female genital tract can be picked up at routine screening stage like cancer of the cervix. All that is required is a simple test called a Pap smear which can detect this cancer at a precancerous stage, so routine pap smears are very important for every sexually active female in every 3 years.

Also, cancers like breast and ovarian cancers are genetically inherited and routine screening to reduce the risk women. Early detection can prevent or detect these cancers at an early stage. Pre-conceptional counseling is a very important interaction a couple undergoes with their gynecologist when they intend to start a family. The importance of this cannot be undermined because many hereditary diseases can be prevented from being passed on to the unborn fetus if proper screening of the couple is done. Thus, the important points to note are that a visit to a gynecologist is not merely to find a cure but timely prevention can detect certain conditions, the cure for which might either be too long, too delayed or too devastating.

The author is Dr Ritu Sethi (Senior Consultant- Gynaecology, Cloud Nine Hospital, Sector 14 Gurgaon and Apex Clinic, Sector 31, Gurgaon)